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Jeans and trousers

One small change: Choose better shorts

One small change: Choose better shorts

Why make the change?

"I know why you're drawn to cargo shorts. You like the longer length, the pockets that fit all your stuff, and maybe even the military heritage. Unfortunately, they're not the most stylish—or flattering. Sure, a pair of cargo shorts is OK on a hike or sail, but in any non-outdoorsy context you're better off in chino shorts.

"In addition to being sharper and more slimming, chinos are much more economical: you can wear them with any of your casual—and some of your smart-casual—clothes."

Thread stylist Alice Watt.

Why it works

Photographed: MVP crew-neck sweater (£25), Gant navy chino shorts (£80), Selected white leather trainers (£70)

1. The pocketless shorts make you look slimmer. "Baggy and prone to crumpling, cargo shorts aren't very flattering—particularly if you stuff the pockets full. Plus those pockets aren't really that practical: do you really want to be rooting around for your wallet at your knee?"

2. Chino shorts make your casual clothes look sharper. "See how the sweatshirt looks much smarter on the right? These shorts are a good length, they’re tailored-looking, they suit every age and body shape. Chino shorts are basically the ultimate warm-weather wardrobe staple."

3. Chino shorts are only a little shorter (promise). "Cargo shorts look longer, but that's because of the heavier shape and fit. A length around the knee is usually best."